Scott's Flat Trail

 Scott's Flat Trail is a great new trail built by FTA that starts at the 5 Mile House on Hwy 20, five miles east of Nevada City, and drops down to the Scott's Flat Reservoir.
It's a fun descent built for hiking and mtn biking. A good flow with some rollers, switchbacks and banked corners for a fast fun descent.
About 4 miles long, or maybe 5 miles if you ride to the dam. Figure 900 ft of climb in 10 miles if you do a round trip to the dam. The trail has a 5% overall grade so it is a good climbing trail.

Most folks start at the 5 Mile House. There is parking along the road at the Harmony Ridge Store.

On the south side of Hwy 20, next to the 5 mile house, is the start. Look for the trail next to the highway heading east. You will ride maybe 400 ft where you will see a sign directing you to take a right. {Continuing straight will put you on the Lone Grave trail that follows Hwy 20 east to the Lone Grave. There you can cross Hwy 20 to connect to the Pioneer Trail.}

After the right the trail meanders through the forest. You cross Pine Flat Road after a mile of riding, then the trail gets steeper dropping into the canyon. There's lots of switchbacks, some rollers, so its a fast downhill trail. Keep to the right as I might be riding up and will try to pass...
About 4 miles of winding downhill you cross Scott's Flat Road, then a hundred feet of trail and you cross the main gate road for the Scott's Flat Lake camping and boating entrance.
Trail then switchbacks down a short distance and skirts above the boat parking area. You cross a beautiful faux manzanita bridge with a gargoyle face before dropping down to the lake trail, on to the Snow Mountain Ditch Trail.

The Scott's Trail tees into the Snow Mountain Ditch trail, if you take a right, you can ride west to the the dam. If you take a left on Snow Mtn Ditch it meanders a short way to the east, along Scott's Lake, to Casci Ranch road.
There are places to stop and relax and swim if you head towards the dam.

After riding to the dam I usually return by riding back up the hill on the Scott's Trail. As it's a 5% grade overall it's not that difficult and much more fun than climbing the road.

If you did want to go back on the road, take a right {north} at the dam and head up the paved road through the camping area. It's a 4-mile pavement climb back to Highway 20. As you climb out of the camping area you come to a campers tollbooth. Take a left here as you climb a gentle paved grade, with vista views, out of the canyon on Scott's Flat Road.

Other Trail connections: As I mentioned earlier you can ride the Lone Grave Trail to connect with the Pioneer trail from this trail.

If you ride out the first mile of Scott's Flat Trail where it crosses Pine Flat, take a right on Pine Flat towards Hwy 20. Go a few hundred feet and take a right at the forestry gate. This cool dirt road meanders along the top part of the ridge heading east. Keep to the right mostly till you get to a sinkhole and follow the main dirt road to the left. This takes you to Hwy 20 after a mile or so meeting up with the Lone Grave Trail. I usually continue east on this trail and cross the Hwy 20 at the lone grave site, to connect with the Pioneer Trail. This area was just cleared of underbrush so its a nice looking forest. As all roads end up at Hwy 20 you can't get lost.

Another trail connection from Scott's is that you can ride across the Scott's Flat dam to connect to Pasquale Rd, to Red Dog, To Cascade Canal Trail, to Banner or Gracie and ride to town.

And another connection, to get to or from Nevada City, can be seen on my Pioneer Trail Map.

This is a great little loop and I hope you enjoy it.

Scott's Flat Trail Pictures
Scott's Flat Trail Pictures

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